The NPSL Game Of The Week has come to town and it’s spotlights are shining down on The Miami FC. In this Saturday’s regular season finale there is a lot on the line for the Orange and Blue. While they control their own destiny with regards to hosting six of the seven playoff matches, it’s the final one they need a little help with. Before we focus on the pipeline, we need to focus on the now and this Jacksonville Armada U-23 squad.
The NPSL Sunshine Conference mimicked some of the better leagues around the world this year. In other tables there are usually two or three teams running away from the pack and jockeying for position at the top. If the federation is lucky, there is another compelling race for the fourth and final competition slot. That was the story this year in the NPSL with Miami FC, Miami United, and Naples United taking all the points from the other half of the competition. For Jacksonville, Central Florida, and Storm the last spot would be nabbed by Jacksonville who did just enough against the other two sides to secure their spot last weekend in the playoffs.
Keys To A Miami FC Victory
This match is not the time for Paul Dalglish to experiment with squad rotation nor his tactics. Almost everything he has deployed this year has worked and his club is running like a well-oiled machine. One couldn’t blame the gaffer for keeping his eyes on the fixture clog that comes with the league playoffs. The goal should be get an early lead to get his side some rest.
Dylan Mares, Miguel Gonzalez, Mohamed Thiaw, and Dario Suarez should all be starters in Saturday’s lineup. Their attacking proficiency amounted to six of the seven goals that were put past the Armada in the return fixture. If Miami can break out with an early lead and pad their lead by three or more goals, I fully expect wholesale changes at the half or at the sixty-minute mark. It would be critical to get the bench playing minutes and the starters some extra rest before a rematch on Wednesday against this Armada side.
Prediction & The Road Ahead
Miami should have no problems in this match even if there is some squad experimentation. This would only be the case if they seek to hide their true tactics for Wednesday’s Sunshine Conference Semi-Final. That said, the Orange and Blue will cement their place as the second seed in the National tournament with a win, should they advance out of the Southern Region. The Miami FC faithful will likely have one eye on this match and one on the scoreboard in a fixture up north.
Miami only trail the New York Cosmos in the NPSL Power Rankings. The leader of the rankings is awarded home field throughout the entire playoff structure. The Cosmos will take on the Kingston Stockade in their regular season finale. If the New York powerhouse lose tonight, Miami will slide into the first position with a victory against Jacksonville. Hold on to your hats this evening could be a wild ride.
The Miami FC 5 – 0 Jax Armada U-23
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